Oregon Public Broadcasting | EarthFix, December 12, 2012
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Southwest Washington isn’t exactly Ground Zero when it comes to a coal export terminal proposed for a location 270 miles away, just south of the Canadian border.
Even so, close to 700 people turned out Wednesday night for a public hearing on the Gateway Pacific Terminal, which could be built near Bellingham, Washington.
The people who oppose the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal greatly outnumbered those who favor the plan. Earlier hearings held in towns closer to the proposed terminal drew a more even mix of supporters and opponents. Although the Vancouver hearing was a five-hour drive from the proposed terminal, it’s right on the rail line for coal trains that would deliver coal from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.
It was the latest in series of public hearings around the state on the project. The final one scheduled is Thursday in Seattle.
The gatherings are meant to inform government agencies’ decision on the scope of their assessment of the environmental impact the Gateway Pacific coal terminal might have. An environmental impact statement is supposed to uncover the ways a project could hurt people and their environment.